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A look back at Jack Tatum

July 28, 2010

One of the most feared hitters in football history, Jack Tatum died Tuesday, July 27, 2010 of a heart attack. He was 61-years old.

Tatum was a member of Ohio State’s super sophomores that led the Buckeyes to a national championship in 1968. The New Jersey native actually came to Ohio State as a running back, but assistant coach Lou Holtz convinced Woody Hayes to switch Tatum to defensive back during his freshman season.

In the Buckeyes’ defensive backfield, Tatum was a three-time first-team All-Big Ten selection from 1968- 70. In 1969 and 1970 he was a unanimous All-American selection. His senior season, Tatum was selected as the National Defensive Player of the Year and finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

Drafted by the Oakland Raiders with the 18th overall pick in the first round of the 1971 NFL Draft, Tatum became know as The Assassin for his ferrous hitting.

While with the Raiders he helped lead them to a Super Bowl XXI victory over the Minnesota Vikings. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and was named the 1973 Football Digest Defensive Back of the Year.

After nine seasons with the Raiders, Tatum was traded to the Houston Oilers for running back Kenny King and two draft choices in the 1980 NFL Draft. Tatum played one season for the Oilers before he retired following the 1980 season.

In his decade in the NFL, Tatum played in 136 games, recorded 37 and returned one fumble for a touchdown.

Here is a sample of Tatum’s football cards during his NFL career.

Jack Tatum 1973 Topps No. 288

Jack Tatum 1973 Topps No. 288

Jack Tatum 1976 Topps No. 270

Jack Tatum 1976 Topps No. 270

Jack Tatum 1980 Topps No. 429

Jack Tatum 1980 Topps No. 429

Jack Tatum 1981 Topps No. 8

Jack Tatum 1981 Topps No. 8

Images courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

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